Top-Rated Attractions & Places to Visit in Atlanta, GA


By Abigail Lewis

Welcome to Atlanta, GA, a vibrant and dynamic city that offers an array of attractions and places to visit. Known for its rich history, diverse culture, and thriving arts scene, Atlanta has something for everyone.

One of the must-see attractions in Atlanta is the Georgia Aquarium. As one of the largest aquariums in the world, it is home to thousands of marine animals, including sharks, dolphins, and exotic fish. Visitors can enjoy interactive exhibits, live shows, and even have the opportunity to swim or dive with the marine creatures.

Another popular destination in Atlanta is the World of Coca-Cola. This interactive museum takes visitors on a journey through the history of one of the world’s most iconic brands. From sampling different Coke products from around the world to exploring the secret formula, the World of Coca-Cola offers an unforgettable experience.

No visit to Atlanta would be complete without a trip to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. This historic landmark pays tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. King, one of America’s greatest civil rights leaders. Visitors can tour his childhood home, visit his final resting place, and learn about the civil rights movement through interactive exhibits.

For those who appreciate the arts, the High Museum of Art is a must-visit. With its impressive collection of European paintings, American decorative arts, and modern and contemporary art, the High Museum offers a diverse range of artistic experiences. Don’t forget to explore the beautiful surrounding gardens and enjoy the stunning views of Atlanta’s skyline.

These are just a few of the top-rated attractions and places to visit in Atlanta, GA. Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or a nature lover, Atlanta has something to offer everyone. So plan your trip to Atlanta today and discover the magic of this vibrant city!

High Museum of Art

The High Museum of Art is one of Atlanta’s most prestigious cultural institutions. Located in the heart of Midtown, the museum is known for its extensive collection of contemporary and classic art.

The museum was founded in 1905 and has since grown to become one of the leading art institutions in the Southeast. It houses more than 17,000 artworks, including paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, and photography.

Visitors to the High Museum of Art can explore its diverse collection, which spans from ancient Egyptian artifacts to contemporary masterpieces. The museum also hosts rotating exhibitions that showcase the works of renowned artists from around the world.

One of the museum’s most popular attractions is the Richard Meier-designed building itself, known for its striking architecture. The building features a distinctive white facade and large windows that bring in natural light, creating a unique and inviting atmosphere.

In addition to its permanent and temporary exhibitions, the High Museum of Art offers a range of educational programs and events for visitors of all ages. These include lectures, workshops, and guided tours that provide insights into the world of art.

Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply looking to explore Atlanta’s cultural scene, a visit to the High Museum of Art is a must. With its world-class collection and engaging programs, the museum offers a vibrant and enriching experience for all visitors.

Contemporary Art Exhibits

Atlanta is home to several world-class contemporary art exhibits that showcase the innovative and cutting-edge work of both local and international artists. Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or just curious about the latest trends in art, be sure to visit these top-rated contemporary art exhibits in Atlanta!

1. The High Museum of Art: This renowned museum features a collection of contemporary art from around the world. With its stunning architecture and diverse range of exhibits, the High Museum of Art is a must-visit for anyone interested in contemporary art.

2. Atlanta Contemporary: Located in the heart of Atlanta’s west-side arts district, Atlanta Contemporary is a non-profit contemporary art center that showcases thought-provoking works by emerging and established artists. The center also hosts workshops, artist talks, and other events that engage the community.

3. MOCA GA: The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia is dedicated to showcasing the works of local artists. It features a rotating collection of contemporary art and often collaborates with other institutions to host special exhibitions and events.

4. Spruill Gallery: Situated in the historic community of Dunwoody, the Spruill Gallery exhibits a mix of contemporary art, crafts, and design. The gallery also offers art classes and workshops for all ages, making it a great place to explore your own creativity.

5. The Bakery: This innovative artist community and performance space in West End hosts regular contemporary art exhibits, pop-up installations, and multimedia performances. The Bakery is known for its experimental and avant-garde approach to art, making it a must-visit for those looking for a unique artistic experience.

6. Hathaway Contemporary Gallery: Located in the heart of Atlanta, Hathaway Contemporary Gallery showcases contemporary art in a vibrant and welcoming space. The gallery features a diverse range of works across various media, including painting, sculpture, photography, and installation.

7. Whitespace Gallery: Whitespace Gallery is dedicated to showcasing cutting-edge contemporary art by regional and national artists. With its intimate gallery space and carefully curated exhibitions, Whitespace Gallery provides a unique and immersive experience for visitors.

8. Jackson Fine Art: Specializing in contemporary photography, Jackson Fine Art presents a wide range of photographic works from both modern masters and emerging talents. The gallery’s focus on photography allows visitors to explore this unique medium in a thought-provoking and visually stunning way.

Whether you’re interested in contemporary painting, sculpture, photography, or performance art, Atlanta offers a vibrant and diverse art scene that is sure to captivate art lovers of all kinds. Make sure to visit these top-rated contemporary art exhibits in Atlanta to discover the exciting world of contemporary art!

Atlanta Botanical Garden

The Atlanta Botanical Garden is a picturesque oasis located in Midtown Atlanta. Spanning over 30 acres, the garden is a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, offering a tranquil and stunning natural setting.

Home to over 30 acres of breathtaking display gardens, the Atlanta Botanical Garden features a wide variety of plant collections. Visitors can explore the Fuqua Orchid Center, which houses one of the largest collections of orchids in the United States, including rare and exotic species. The Tropical Rotunda showcases plants from tropical regions around the world, while the Japanese Garden offers a serene and peaceful atmosphere with its traditional Japanese design.

One of the highlights of the Atlanta Botanical Garden is the Canopy Walk, a 600-foot-long suspended walkway that takes visitors through the treetops and provides a unique perspective on the gardens below. The walkway also leads to the Edible Garden, where visitors can learn about sustainable gardening practices and get inspired to grow their own vegetables and herbs.

In addition to the beautiful gardens, the Atlanta Botanical Garden hosts a variety of events throughout the year. From seasonal flower shows to concerts in the garden, there is always something happening at this vibrant attraction. The garden also offers educational programs for all ages, including classes, workshops, and guided tours.

Whether you are a nature lover, a photography enthusiast, or simply looking for a peaceful retreat, the Atlanta Botanical Garden is a must-visit attraction in Atlanta. Situated in the heart of the city, it offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and discover the wonders of the plant world.

Beautiful Outdoor Gardens

Atlanta is home to a variety of stunning outdoor gardens that offer a peaceful and serene escape from the bustling city. These lush green spaces are perfect for nature lovers and those looking to relax in a beautiful setting. Here are some of the top outdoor gardens to visit in Atlanta.

  • Atlanta Botanical Garden: This expansive garden features a wide variety of plant collections, including a tropical rainforest, Japanese garden, and rose garden. Visitors can explore the stunning plant displays, walk along the elevated canopy walkway, and enjoy the tranquil beauty of the gardens.
  • Piedmont Park: Located in the heart of Atlanta, Piedmont Park is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. The park features beautiful landscaping, walking trails, and picturesque views of the city skyline. With over 200 acres of green space, it’s the perfect place to have a picnic, go for a bike ride, or simply enjoy the natural beauty of the park.
  • Atlanta History Center Gardens: The Atlanta History Center is not only home to fascinating exhibits and historical sites, but also to beautiful gardens. The Swan House Gardens feature manicured lawns, colorful flowers, and a serene reflection pool. The Smith Family Farm Gardens offer a glimpse into farm life in the 1860s, with vegetable and herb gardens, as well as a charming garden maze.
  • Smith-Gilbert Gardens: Located just outside of Atlanta in Kennesaw, Smith-Gilbert Gardens is a hidden gem. This 16-acre botanical garden features stunning displays of flowers, plants, and sculptures. Visitors can stroll along the peaceful paths, cross over charming bridges, and discover unique plant collections.
  • Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum: The Atlanta BeltLine is a former railway corridor that has been transformed into a multi-use trail system. The BeltLine Arboretum showcases a diverse range of native trees, plants, and flowers. Visitors can explore the trail and learn about the different species of plants that thrive in Atlanta’s urban environment.

No matter which outdoor garden you choose to visit in Atlanta, you’re sure to be impressed by the natural beauty and tranquility they offer. These gardens provide a refreshing break from the city and allow visitors to connect with nature in a peaceful setting.

Georgia Aquarium

The Georgia Aquarium is one of the top-rated attractions in Atlanta, Georgia. It is home to thousands of marine animals from around the world, making it the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere. The aquarium offers visitors a chance to see a wide variety of species, from dolphins and sharks to penguins and sea turtles.

The aquarium is divided into several exhibits, each showcasing a different aquatic environment. One of the highlights is the Ocean Voyager exhibit, which is the largest indoor aquatic habitat in the world. It features a massive viewing window where visitors can see whale sharks, manta rays, and other large marine animals up close.

Another popular exhibit is the Tropical Diver, which recreates the vibrant coral reefs and tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region. Visitors can marvel at the colorful fish, exotic corals, and even touch some of the creatures in a special interactive touch pool.

The Georgia Aquarium is also known for its dedication to conservation and education. It conducts research and conservation efforts to protect marine life and habitats, and it offers educational programs for visitors of all ages. From behind-the-scenes tours to interactive animal encounters, there are plenty of opportunities to learn about the importance of marine conservation.

Visiting the Georgia Aquarium is a memorable experience for both adults and children. Whether you’re a marine enthusiast or just looking for a fun day out, the aquarium offers a captivating and educational adventure that shouldn’t be missed during your visit to Atlanta.

World’s Largest Aquarium

Located in downtown Atlanta, the Georgia Aquarium is the world’s largest aquarium and a must-visit attraction for anyone in the city. Spanning over 9 million gallons of water, this incredible aquarium is home to a wide variety of marine life, providing visitors with an unforgettable journey into the underwater world.

The Georgia Aquarium offers a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with creatures from all corners of the globe. From awe-inspiring beluga whales to captivating sea turtles, you’ll find an impressive range of species in the many exhibits throughout the facility.

One of the highlights of the Georgia Aquarium is the Ocean Voyager exhibit, which features a stunning acrylic tunnel that allows visitors to walk right through the aquarium. Here, you’ll have the chance to see fearsome sharks, graceful manta rays, and countless other fascinating sea creatures swimming above and around you.

In addition to the mesmerizing exhibits, the Georgia Aquarium also offers interactive experiences that provide even more opportunities for learning and exploration. You can sign up for a behind-the-scenes tour to gain insight into the aquarium’s operations or participate in a unique animal encounter program to get closer to some of the aquarium’s resident animals.

Whether you’re a marine enthusiast, a family looking for a fun day out, or a curious traveler, the Georgia Aquarium is a truly world-class attraction that should not be missed. With its impressive size, diverse collection of marine species, and immersive exhibits, it’s no wonder that it is considered one of the top-rated aquariums in the world.

Coca-Cola Museum

Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, the Coca-Cola Museum offers a unique and immersive experience for visitors. The museum features a variety of exhibits that highlight the rich history of Coca-Cola, from its humble beginnings as a small soda fountain drink to its global popularity today.

One of the highlights of the museum is the “Vault of the Secret Formula,” where visitors can learn about the top-secret recipe for Coca-Cola and the security measures taken to protect it. The museum also features interactive exhibits, such as the chance to create and taste your own Coca-Cola flavors.

Another popular attraction at the Coca-Cola Museum is the “Bottle Works” exhibit, which showcases the intricate process of bottling Coca-Cola. Visitors can witness the bottling process in action and learn about the technology and machinery used to produce millions of bottles of Coca-Cola every day.

In addition to the exhibits, the Coca-Cola Museum also offers guided tours and interactive experiences. Visitors can participate in a guided tasting session, where they can sample different Coca-Cola products from around the world and learn about the unique flavors and variations in different countries.

Opening Hours Monday – Saturday: 9am – 6pm
Sunday: 10am – 5pm
Admission Adults: $17
Children (ages 3-12): $12

Overall, the Coca-Cola Museum is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in the history and cultural impact of Coca-Cola. It offers a unique and interactive experience that is both informative and entertaining.

History of Coca-Cola

The history of Coca-Cola dates back to 1886 when it was first created by Dr. John Stith Pemberton in Atlanta, Georgia. Originally marketed as a patent medicine, the recipe for Coca-Cola was developed by Pemberton, a pharmacist, as a remedy for various ailments. The first Coca-Cola was sold at Jacobs’ Pharmacy in downtown Atlanta, where it quickly gained popularity.

In the early years, Coca-Cola was sold as a syrup that was mixed with carbonated water at soda fountains. It was served in a glass with a straw, making it a refreshing and fizzy drink for its consumers. The company quickly expanded its market and began selling Coca-Cola in bottles, making it more accessible to a wider range of people.

Over the years, Coca-Cola has become an iconic brand recognized worldwide. Its distinctive red and white logo, the contour bottle, and the memorable slogans have helped establish Coca-Cola as a symbol of happiness and refreshment.

In addition to its advertising campaigns, Coca-Cola has also played a significant role in popular culture. It has been featured in movies, music videos, and even has its own museum, The World of Coca-Cola, located in Atlanta. The museum offers visitors a chance to learn about the history of the brand, see a collection of rare Coca-Cola memorabilia, and sample different Coca-Cola products from around the world.

Throughout its history, Coca-Cola has continued to innovate and introduce new flavors and variations of the classic drink. From the introduction of Diet Coke in 1982 to the launch of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar in 2005, the company has adapted to changing consumer preferences and tastes.

Today, Coca-Cola is one of the most recognized and valuable brands in the world, with its products being sold in over 200 countries. It continues to be a symbol of America’s cultural influence and a favorite beverage for millions of people around the globe.

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site is a must-visit destination in Atlanta, Georgia. It is dedicated to honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a prominent civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner.

The site includes several important landmarks, such as Dr. King’s childhood home, where he spent the first 12 years of his life. Visitors can take a guided tour of the house and gain insight into his early years and upbringing.

Another significant attraction at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site is the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr. King and his father served as pastors. This historic church played a crucial role in the Civil Rights Movement and remains an important symbol of African American empowerment.

The final resting place of Dr. King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, is also located on the site. The King Center, a memorial dedicated to Dr. King’s life and work, features exhibits and interactive displays that offer a comprehensive look at his impact on the world.

In addition to the historical landmarks, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site is surrounded by beautiful green spaces. Visitors can explore the Freedom Park, which features statues and memorials honoring various civil rights leaders. The park is an ideal spot for reflection and relaxation.

A visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site is a powerful and moving experience. It provides an opportunity to learn about Dr. King’s courageous fight for equality and justice, and to reflect on the ongoing struggles for civil rights in today’s world.

Whether you are a history enthusiast or simply interested in learning more about one of the most influential figures of the 20th century, this site is a must-see when visiting Atlanta, Georgia.

Preserving Civil Rights History

Atlanta has a rich history in the Civil Rights Movement, and there are several important sites in the city that preserve this history for future generations.

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in learning about the Civil Rights Movement. The site includes the birthplace and childhood home of Martin Luther King Jr., as well as the Ebenezer Baptist Church where he preached. The King Center, located within the site, also features exhibits that document the life and legacy of Dr. King.

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights is another important attraction in Atlanta. This museum offers interactive exhibits that explore the history of the Civil Rights Movement, as well as the ongoing struggle for human rights around the world. Visitors can learn about key figures in the movement, such as Rosa Parks and John Lewis, and gain a deeper understanding of the challenges they faced.

The Apex Museum is a small but impactful museum that focuses on the history of African Americans in Atlanta. The museum showcases exhibits on important figures in the Civil Rights Movement, such as Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first African American mayor, and provides insights into their contributions to the city’s history.

Lastly, the Atlanta University Center Historic District is a significant site that played a major role in the Civil Rights Movement. This district is home to several historically black colleges and universities, including Morehouse College, Clark Atlanta University, and Spelman College. These institutions were instrumental in educating and nurturing many Civil Rights leaders, and the district showcases their importance through its historic buildings and monuments.

Overall, Atlanta offers a wealth of opportunities to learn about and engage with the history of the Civil Rights Movement. From museums to historic sites, visitors can explore the past and gain a deeper appreciation for the struggles and triumphs of those who fought for equality.

Piedmont Park

Piedmont Park is located in the heart of Atlanta and is one of the city’s most beloved green spaces. Spanning over 185 acres, it provides an oasis of nature in the midst of the bustling city.

The park offers a wide range of recreational activities for visitors of all ages. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy jogging or biking along the park’s many trails, while families can have picnics in the designated areas. There is also a dog park where furry friends can play and socialize.

One of the park’s main attractions is Lake Clara Meer, a picturesque lake where visitors can rent paddleboats and enjoy a relaxing ride on the water. The lake is also a popular spot for bird watching, with a variety of species that call it home.

For those interested in culture and history, Piedmont Park is home to several notable landmarks. The Atlanta Botanical Garden is located within the park and features a stunning collection of plants and flowers. The historic Piedmont Park Conservancy Building is also worth a visit, with its beautiful architecture and informative exhibits.

Throughout the year, Piedmont Park hosts various events and festivals, including the Atlanta Jazz Festival and the Dogwood Festival. These events attract visitors from all over and showcase the vibrant spirit of the city.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat, a place to engage in outdoor activities, or a cultural experience, Piedmont Park has something for everyone. It’s a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists alike.

Urban Green Space

Atlanta, Georgia, is home to a variety of urban green spaces that provide residents and visitors with opportunities for relaxation, recreation, and outdoor exploration. These green spaces offer a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of city life, allowing individuals to connect with nature.

Piedmont Park, located in the heart of Atlanta, is one of the city’s most popular urban green spaces. Spanning over 180 acres, this park offers walking trails, sports fields, picnic areas, and stunning views of the city skyline. It is a favorite spot for locals and tourists alike and hosts numerous events and festivals throughout the year.

The Atlanta Beltline is another notable urban green space in the city. This former railway corridor has been transformed into a multi-use trail that connects various neighborhoods and parks. The Beltline features beautiful landscaping, public art installations, and pedestrian-friendly pathways, making it a great place for walking, biking, and jogging.

The Atlanta Botanical Garden is a must-visit attraction for nature lovers. This 30-acre botanical garden showcases a variety of plant collections, including tropical and desert plants, as well as beautiful displays of seasonal flowers. Visitors can explore the garden’s numerous themed gardens, such as the Japanese Garden and the Rose Garden, or simply relax in the peaceful surroundings.

For those interested in history and nature, the Old Fourth Ward Park is worth a visit. This park is located on the site of the historic Fourth Ward neighborhood and features a large green space, a lake, and a playground. It is a popular destination for picnicking, kite flying, and outdoor concerts.

The Freedom Park offers a unique blend of green space and historical significance. This park stretches for 200 acres and features walking trails, sports fields, and a variety of public art installations. It is also home to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, further adding to its cultural significance.

Whether you’re looking for an escape from the city or simply want to enjoy some outdoor activities, Atlanta’s urban green spaces have something to offer everyone. From large parks with breathtaking views to smaller neighborhood parks and gardens, the city provides ample opportunities for individuals to reconnect with nature and appreciate the beauty of their surroundings.

Frequently asked questions:

What are the top-rated attractions in Atlanta?

Some of the top-rated attractions in Atlanta include the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, the Atlanta Botanical Garden, the Atlanta History Center, and the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.

What is there to do in Atlanta?

There are numerous things to do in Atlanta. You can explore the city’s attractions such as the High Museum of Art, the Piedmont Park, and the Fox Theatre. You can also visit the Atlanta Zoo, go shopping at Ponce City Market, or enjoy a walk along the Atlanta BeltLine.

Are there any free attractions in Atlanta?

Yes, there are several free attractions in Atlanta. You can visit the Atlanta BeltLine, which offers walking and biking paths along with art installations. You can also explore the outdoor sculpture garden at the High Museum of Art, or visit the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.

Where should I go for outdoor activities in Atlanta?

There are several outdoor activities you can enjoy in Atlanta. You can visit Piedmont Park, which offers walking trails, sports fields, and beautiful views of the city skyline. You can also explore the Atlanta Botanical Garden, or go hiking in the nearby Stone Mountain Park.


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Abigail Lewis

Abigail Lewis, a valued Cancun resident since 2008, skillfully combines her extensive knowledge of the region with her travels across Mexico in her engaging TravelAsker pieces. An experienced traveler and dedicated mother, she brings the lively spirit of Mexico to her articles, featuring top family-friendly destinations, dining, resorts, and activities. Fluent in two languages, Abigail unveils Mexico's hidden gems, becoming your trustworthy travel companion in exploring the country.

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